Krakow Jewish culture festival honors non-Jews


KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) — Non-Jewish Poles who protect and preserve Jewish culture in Poland were recognized during the annual Festival of Jewish Culture in Krakow.

Israeli Ambassador to Poland Zvi Rav-ner presented the award certificates Sunday during the 20th edition of Europe’s most famous Jewish culture festival, which opened last Friday with Kabbalat Shabbat services. More than 160 Poles have been so honored since the awards ceremony was initiated 13 years ago.

The festival, which runs through July 4, will feature concerts, exhibits, lectures, workshops and guided tours. This year’s lineup of performers includes the Chasidic rapper Matisyahu.

Originally held every two years, the festival was founded in 1988 by two non-Jewish Poles as a means of commemorating Jewish culture destroyed in Poland during the Holocaust, but also to demonstrate that Jews and Jewish culture were still alive around the world. It has been a catalyst in the development of the Jewish Quarter of Krakow as a tourist destination.

Performers and artists have included top names in Jewish art and performance such as Shlomo Carlebach, Theodore Bikel, the Klezmatics, Shlomo Bar and Chava Alberstein.

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